“Most people aren’t trained to want to face the process of re-understanding a subject they already know. One must obtain not just literacy, but deep involvement and re-understanding.”
“That’s what the world is, after all: an endless battle of contrasting memories.”
“When man took to his bed the Computer, there was great rejoicing, and great fear too, for their children were almost like gods. The mainbrains bestrode the galaxy at will, and changed its very face. The Silicon God, The Solid State Entity, Al Squared, Enth Generation - their names are many. And there were the Carked and Symbionts, whose daughters were the Neurosingers, Warrior-Poets, the Neurologicians and the Pilots of the Order of Mystic Mathematicians.”
“Wrong solitude vinegars the soul,
right solitude oils it.
How fragile we are, between the few good moments.”
among various natures of human beings
and in the habits which arise from them
must exist in many other matters.
I can affirm—the remaining traces
of those natures which reasoning cannot
remove from us are so slight, that nothing
stops us living a life worthy of gods.
— Titus Lucretius Carus
, a Roman poet and philosopher (ca. 99 BC – ca. 55 BC), De Rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things)
, translation: Ian Johnston, Richer Resources Publications, Arlington, Virginia, 2010. III [315-318], III [320-323] p. 105. See also: ☞ How Epicurus’ ideas survived through Lucretius’ poetry, and led to toleration, Lapidarium notes
“The generic human need to make and listen to music, for instance, might be explained at the level of evolutionary psychology, but the emergence of the classical symphony certainly cannot. In fact, the insistence on finding explanations of cultural difference in terms of biological evolution exactly misses the point of the great evolutionary innovation represented by Homo sapiens, the massive development of non-genetic learning.”
— Bernard Williams
, English moral philosopher, described by The Times as the “most brilliant and most important British moral philosopher of his time.” (1929-2003), Truth and Truthfulness
, Princeton University Press, 2002, p. 28.
‘News is to the mind what sugar is to the body’
“Afraid you will miss “something important”? From my experience, if something really important happens, you will hear about it, even if you live in a cocoon that protects you from the news. Friends and colleagues will tell you about relevant events far more reliably than any news organization. They will fill you in with the added benefit of meta-information, since they know your priorities and you know how they think. You will learn far more about really important events and societal shifts by reading about them in specialized journals, in-depth magazines or good books and by talking to the people who know. (…)
The more “news factoids” you digest, the less of the big picture you will understand. (…)
Thinking requires concentration. Concentration requires uninterrupted time. News items are like free-floating radicals that interfere with clear thinking. News pieces are specifically engineered to interrupt you. They are like viruses that steal attention for their own purposes. (…)
[F]ewer than 10% of the news stories are original. Less than 1% are truly investigative. And only once every 50 years do journalists uncover a Watergate. (…) The copying and the copying of the copies multiply the flaws in the stories and their irrelevance.”
“High up in the North in the land called Svithjod, there stands a rock. It is a hundred miles high and a hundred miles wide. Once every thousand years a little bird comes to this rock to sharpen its beak.
When the rock has thus been worn away, then a single day of eternity will have gone by.”
“Feeling insignificant because the universe is large, has exactly the same logic as feeling inadequate for not being a cow.”
“The middle ages did not care much for alphabetical order, because they were committed to rational order. To the medieval mind, the universe [is] a harmonious whole whose parts are related to one another. It was the responsibility of the author or scholar to discern these rational relationships — of hierarchy, or of chronology, or of similarities and differences, and so forth.”